Acceleration is perhaps the most priceless asset a racehorse can own and Rattan (126lb) used his turn of foot to telling effect at Sha Tin this afternoon (Saturday November 10) to land a Panasonic Cup that prompted delight for Chad Schofield and a powerful sense of “what might have been” from connections of the pair who chased him home.
Winning trainer Richard Gibson missed saddling the 200th winner of his Hong Kong career due to a trip to Europe to celebrate his father’s 80th birthday but can look forward to other major days with a gelding who quickened at the key moment to get the better of Conte and the Zac Purton-ridden Little Giant in a pulsating finish.
However, the reaction of those closest to the placed horses suggest that this is a race that may well have a significant bearing on plenty good races to come.
Runner-up Conte (118lb) had Umberto Rispoli bemoaning a wide draw which he felt cost him the race while paying a handsome tribute to “one of the most beautiful horses I’ve ridden in my life.”
Little Giant’s trainer David Hall hinted that two LONGINES HKIR options are still on the table after his troubled passage under 126lb from stall 10, but Schofield was left beaming at how “one of my favourite horses” erased memories of a frustrating, narrow defeat aboard Glorious Forever in the Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse.
Purton had dictated to Schofield aboard Time Warp in last week’s feature but this time Schofield was able to settle into a perfect midfield slot as Little Giant edged his way across in behind from his wider stall.
Rispoli was forced to work hard to set a true pace aboard Conte from even wider out in stall 14, but the effort of doing so took a toll close home and Rattan swept by late to score by a neck with Little Giant the same distance away in third despite throwing down a highly impressive 22.12 secs for his final 400m.